IF you're looking for your next company car and ‘diesel-gate' has forced you to reconsider your options, then Ford may have the perfect solution with the Mondeo hybrid.
The Ford Mondeo has long been regarded as one of the finest fleet cars on the market today and with the introduction of hybrid technology three years' ago, the car's appeal grew even stronger.
Our car was supplied in high-end Titanium trim and carried a Â£26,395 price-tag, although a few optional extras bumped it up to Â£27,730. It's worth noting the Mondeo range starts from just shy of Â£19,500 so the hybrid version is pricey.
At present, the hybrid technology is only available on the four-door Mondeo saloon, but Ford has just announced plans to extend it to the estate body style next year as the estate accounts for about 30 per cent of Mondeo sales in the UK.
The Mondeo hybrid uses two electric motors - one to support the specially-developed 2.0-litre 187ps petrol engine in driving the wheels - and the other to enable regenerative charging to the 1.4kWh lithium battery which is located behind the rear seats.
Regenerative braking can capture up to 90 per cent of the energy usually lost when slowing down and this is utilised to replenish the battery levels.
It may sound rather complicated but it all runs very efficiently and smoothly and the car completes the 0-62mph dash in a creditable 9.2 seconds, maxing out at 116mph.
It powers up and pulls away in complete silence and when the petrol engine kicks in, the cabin still remains pretty refined with minimal engine noise filtering through.
There is ample power on tap to quickly reach high motorway speeds and the acceleration is constant through long sweeping country lanes.
The Mondeo is also a nimble car and easy to manoeuvre in busy town centres with vehicles and pedestrians darting out from all angles.
The Mondeo hybrid features a six-speed CVT gearbox and this is slick enough when driven respectfully. But under heavy acceleration, it all becomes a little jumpy, which in fairness is quite standard with some CVT gearboxes.
The road holding is excellent and the latest generation Mondeo boasts a revised suspension set-up which helps iron out the bumpy UK road surfaces along the way.
Like its Mondeo siblings, the hybrid looks great from any angle thanks to its sleek streamlining, sculpted bonnet, sweeping light clusters with front fog lights and LED daytime running lights, rear privacy glass and 18-inch alloy wheels. It looks muscular without appearing over-aggressive.
The interior is upmarket in its layout and design with excellent comfort levels for all occupants thanks to the 10-way power adjustable front seats featuring premium leather upholstery.
The boot capacity is quite small due to the location of the battery behind the rear seats which means the car can only accommodate 383 litres of kit. But there are plenty of handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including a glove-box, door bins, cup holders, a central bin and a tray in front of the gear lever.
All the on-board technology is very simple to access and there is a wealth of creature comforts to explore, including full smartphone connectivity via the SYNC 3 system with an eight-inch colour touchscreen, a Sony DAB sound system, variable heated front seats and dual zone climate control.
Being a hybrid, the instrumentation can be customised to show power distribution, regenerative information or more traditional read-outs with efficiency leaves growing in the display screen to show how economically you are driving.
That said; no matter how carefully I drove, the official combined mpg of 67.3 seemed a challenge too far. I was seeing an average closer to the mid-40s.